NEW REPORT   
Teachers Know Best
: What Educators Want From Digital Instructional Tools 2.0
Ddi analyze

Teachers are trying to pinpoint the misconceptions and struggles of their students

78% of teachers believe data helps validate where students are and where they can go

Teachers need tools that

Analyze at the Speed of Teaching

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The Challenge Today

Teachers want to give feedback in the moment right as misconceptions become clear. Every minute counts while teaching. The time it takes to manipulate or analyze data is time teachers don’t have.

I get a flood of data but making it something I can act on is the tough part. It needs to be actionable at the speed of teaching and learning, so it can be used real-time in the classroom. Chris | Leap Innovations | Chicago, IL

The Opportunity

Provide data to teachers in class, as they teach, in order to close the gap between instruction, feedback, and learning.

Thought Starters

How might we

  • Provide analysis in two modes: ‘fast-in-class’ mode and ‘after-class-deliberate’ mode
  • Close the distance between students submitting work and teachers assessing it and providing direct, informed, detailed feedback
  • Quickly toggle in and out of class-wide and specific-student views of data so that teachers can quickly survey a class and zero in on which specific students and topics need attention
  • Make student data more like a ‘data feed’ and less like a ‘written report’
  • Give teachers the same flexible control of data that a sports fan has when reviewing player statistics online

Teachers need tools that

Detail Performance Against Standards

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The Challenge Today

Simply categorizing content relative to the Common Core State Standards does not help teachers understand which ‘key concepts’ students have mastered or struggle with.

My ideal would be if I just put in some data and it automatically determined which standard it was matching up with. And then, when I entered all the scores for that test, it automatically would just pop out. Cathy | Elementary ELA | East Bay, CA

The Opportunity

Provide enough granularity to quickly determine which specific skill students are mastering or failing to comprehend.

Thought Starters

How might we

  • Use data analytics to reveal the implicit scaffolding embedded in the Common Core Standards
  • Alert teachers, parents and students if standards are not met – by specific student and skillset
  • Make meeting standards a compelling challenge rather than an onerous chore for both teachers and students
  • Connect performance across multiple standards to facilitate meta-analysis of student skill

Teachers need tools that

Reveal Progress, Not Just Snapshots

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The Challenge Today

Single points of data reduce students to a score rather than reveal the trends about their progress teachers most care about.

We want to get half our kids to the 75th percentile... If we’re going to be able to get them there we have to be able to better communicate to teachers and students where they are and where they we want them to be. Chris | Director of Research | Chicago, IL

The Opportunity

Use data to confirm that every student has the potential be more than today’s data point. Connect present and past data points so teachers can see how students are progressing relative to where they started.

Thought Starters

How might we

  • Visualize trends and patterns in the data
  • Establish baselines for each student’s ability regardless of grade level
  • Help teachers chart possible learning trajectories and share them with their students and others
  • Allow teachers to toggle between quick, current performance scores and the placement of that data within historical context
  • Identify the factors that contributed to a students growth and mastery in order to replicate them with others

Teachers need tools that

Make Normative Data Practical

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The Challenge Today

Formative data gives a sense of how my own kids are progressing and summative data tells me how they did. Teachers want to use other teachers’ data to know how kids similar to theirs changed their learning trajectories.

I want a company to be able to tell me “if kids do X, there's a Y percent chance of Z outcome" and very few companies can do that. They just don't have that research yet. But it's very powerful, to a kid or a teacher, if you have that. Barton | Principal | Chicago, IL

The Opportunity

Combine formative, summative and normative data to highlight points of successful intervention that might shift the course of learning from one trajectory to another.

Thought Starters

How might we

  • Predict short term and long term student performance based on academic and non-academic data points
  • Provide enough detailed formative data to allow teachers to shift instruction day to day
  • Chart likely learning trajectories and leverage normative data to identify the points along them where they can be changed
  • Help teachers course correct when predicted performance indicates large learning gaps